Looking back, that is what it has felt like all along – step after step after step.
Every step was a big step. Saying the words, calling the counselor, showing up for the appointment, signing up for group therapy and conferences, standing up and sharing my testimony: each and every step was a step of faith that was HUGE at the time.
Isn’t that what God is calling all of us to do? Take the next step? Even if we are full of fear and not equipped?
The story of the Healing at the Pool in John 5 is a powerful story. It takes me back to the beginning of my healing journey. I remember reading in church about Jesus noticing and approaching the man who had suffered for 38 years.
My heart was pounding. At the time, I was thirty-eight years old.
Then, verse 6 jumped off of the page at me when Jesus asked him: “Do you want to get well?”
Those six words changed everything, and Jesus had my full attention. I didn’t know how to get well but I wanted to try. I just needed to trust Him to show me.
This post is part of the “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!
I turned down the wrong aisle in the grocery store. I found myself waiting in the center of the aisle for the lady on her cell phone to move her cart. As I waited, staring at the cookies, my eyes caught a glimpse of familiar. Heart stopping familiar. Something that would normally send me chin up, saying excuse me and moving on, but this time I lingered. I stood in the cookie aisle and I cried as I remembered.
Clean up on aisle 9 …. tears are spilling.
He knows. He is right there with me.
Psalm 56:8 (NLT) You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
I have not seen these cookies since elementary school, and I even looked for them years ago, but could not find them. These were not exactly like the ones we used as these were missing chocolate chips. So I zipped over to the baking aisle (still crying) and I put the mini-chips in my cart, and then rushed to the frozen aisle for a big tub of whipped cream. Wiping the tears from my cheeks, I headed to the register and forgot the orange juice and bread.
These cookies were part of one of my favorite desserts when I was a little girl, but they are also associated with much pain. Pain that has been worked through in counseling. These memories have been discussed and processed, but just seeing the cookies took me back to tracing in a classroom window and it reminded me of shame, and desperate attempts to appear okay.
I pulled in the driveway, and cried some more and then unloaded the bags.
After dinner, we started making the dessert. The kids took turns dipping the cookies in milk, and lining the bottom of the pan. Then we sprinkled with chocolate chips, covered with cool whip, layered again and again, and then put it in the freezer.
We were laughing and we were sampling the blend of all three ingredients. We were a little messy, and I let even let my youngest lick the spoon (a lot). We were making a new dessert and new memories together, with her… the little girl in me, as is.
Revelation 21:4 (NLT) He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
What is Spiritual Whitespace? There are many ways to describe spiritual whitespace, but one of my many favorite quotes from the book is on page 221 :
The world calls us to hide our stressed-out selves. But Jesus calls us to a radical new rest: Draw near. As is.
Jesus invites us into a new relationship to set our hearts free.
Jesus wanted us to bring him what’s real and worrisome as well as what’s simple and beautiful. A child brings all parts of herself to Jesus. She can’t help it. That’s just the way she is.
Bonnie Gray is the writer behind Faith Barista.com who wrote a book about her inspiring, heart-breaking journey to find rest, which garnered Publisher’s Weekly starred review. I’m taking the journey to find rest through this guidebook and invite you to read it too. You canget a copy HERE.
Join us on this journey to find #spiritualwhitespace. Let your soul find rest. Watch the trailer below to see more about the book and Bonnie’s story: